The leading economic index jumped 0.6% in October after falling in the two prior months, signaling a pickup in growth after a soft patch during the late summer and early fall. "Despite lackluster third-quarter growth, the economic outlook now appears to be improving," said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist at the privately run Conference Board that produces the report. A measure of current conditions rose 0.2%. A "lagging" index also advanced 0.2%. The leading economic index is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal peaks and valleys in the business cycle.
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